Proposed changes on Workers Safety and Hours of Work
* The Bill proposes to allow women to work in factories between 7 pm and 6 am with exemptions to women workers for 16 weeks before and after childbirth.
* The eligibility criteria for annual leave with wages is proposed to be reduced to 90 days from the current limit of 240 days.
* While permitting women workers to clean, lubricate or adjust a prime mover or transmission machinery in motion, the Bill proposes to restrict pregnant women and persons with disability from doing this.
* The overtime limit of workers for any quarter is proposed to be increased from the current limit of 50 hours to 100 hours.
* The draft legislation seeks to re-define hazardous substances to include any item that can cause physical or health hazards to any person, animal, plant or the environment.
* The amendment proposes to expand the definition of a week as a period of seven days starting midnight on any night approved for a particular area to a factory, allowing each factory to have its own work week.
* The over 200-year-old near-obsolete term horsepower that is used to measure the installed capacity of a factory under the Act is sought to be replaced by power in Kilowatts.
* Doing away with a minimum of 250 workers, the draft legislation proposes that all factories irrespective of number of workers must provide cool drinking water in hot weather.
* The provision of maintaining spittoons continues but violation of the clause is now a compoundable offence, saving the manufacturer from a jail sentence.
* Similarly, provisions for maintaining of drying lines, washing facilities and sitting facilities in factories for workers are retained and their violation is sought to be a compoundable offence.
- Compiled by Surabhi